Best Elf On The shelf ideas |

Best Elf On The Shelf Ideas

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What is Elf On The Shelf?

Elf On The Shelf has become a fun Holiday tradition for many families.  Elf usually arrives to your house December 1st he reports back to the North Pole each night and tells Santa how good the kids were that day causing him to move places at night time.  He can get into trouble himself causing mischief when the kids find him the next day.  These Elf On The Shelf ideas can be as fun or as drastic as Elf would like it to be, it is up to Elf.

Where can you buy one?

You can buy your elf on Amazon here, or you can get it at your local Target or Walmart.  I noticed them just the other day for around $30.00.  The kit comes with the Elf and the book.  There is now a girl elf available too!

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Easy Elf On The Shelf Ideas


Have a plan in place ahead of time of when you want to introduce elf, or bring him back from last year.  I plan on introducing the Elf as our Day 1.  So December 1st, my Daughter will find Elf doing one of the activities below with The Elf On The Shelf book and maybe even a little note from Elf.

1. Elf Eating Chocolate

Have Elf get into a bag of M&M’s, chocolate chips, cookies, etc. just enough that you can still see his legs and bum sticking out of the bag.  When the kids pull him out of the bag, the will see Elf’s face covered in chocolate, as if he had been eating chocolate straight from the bag.

2. Elf Makes His Bed

Elf gets tired sometimes and needs a place to sleep.  Well, a box if tissues is the perfect size for Elf to snuggle up in.  Don’t forget to fold Elf a tissue “pillow” and put a tissue “blanket” on top, to keep Elf warm.  Maybe find a small little trinket for Elf to cuddle up with as well.

3. Elf Loves Popcorn

Elf loves popcorn so much that he decides to make his own while everyone is asleep.  Kids will find Elf in the microwave sitting there with spilled popcorn all around him.

4. Elf Creates A Snow Angel

Using sugar, flour, baking soda, sprinkles, or any other powdered ingredient, Elf will make a snow angel mess on the counter or table.

5. Elf Goes Fishing

Elf goes fishing using a sucker stick, floss, and goldfish crackers.  Kids will find Elf on the kitchen or bathroom sink with his fishing pole in his lap trying to reel in a fish that is caught on his line.  There should be a handful or two of fish in the sink as well.

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6. Elf Writes On The Mirror

Elf gets caught writing a sweet message to the kids on the bathroom mirror.  Using lipstick, toothpaste, or a dry erase marker, Elf writes a message on the bathroom mirror.  The message could be simple like; Be good today or I’m telling Santa, or I love you, or an Elf/Christmas poem, or even a funny joke.  Whatever Elf thinks would best be suited for that day.

7. Elf Hangs Around

Kids find elf hanging upside down!  Elf can hang out of your freezer ice dispenser, hanging upside down on your Christmas tree, chimney, or even hanging from your ceiling fans.

8. Elf Wants To Play Games With You

When the kids find Elf today, Elf is holding a sign that says something like, “Five minutes is the time, how many candies can you find.” The kids then have to see if they can find all the candies Elf hid in 5 minutes. 3-5 candies per kid would be fine.  Nothing crazy.

Elf can also be hiding, let’s say in the kitchen, the kids then find a note saying something like, “Come find where you take a seat, also where you like to eat.” (I guess Elf likes to rhyme! haha) He could be hiding under a kitchen chair, or under the counter, or table.

9. Elf Plays Games Without You

Elf is found playing games with your kids’ toys.  These games can include, but aren’t limited to; card games, Candyland, Lite Brite, Hot Wheels, race tracks, Operation, Connect Four etc.  Whichever games you have around the house are fine, elf is easily entertained, he hasn’t played these types of games before.

10. Elf Makes Breakfast

Elf loves syrup! Because Elf loves syrup so much, he wants to make the kids some breakfast. The only problem is, Elf is tiny, so he makes tiny pancakes, tiny waffles, and tiny strips of bacon.  Make tiny pancakes by sprinkling the batter around a hot pan for just a few seconds before the pancakes flip.  To make the tiny waffles, make a big waffle and cutting the squares out individually.  Make tiny bacon strips by making big pieces of bacon and then cutting them up small, or by purchasing bacon bits.

11. Elf Makes A Swing

Using some yarn and a toilet paper roll, Elf makes himself a swing.  The swing is then placed somewhere the kids go first thing in the morning.  Either in the bathroom, hanging on their bedroom door frame, or in the kitchen pantry. Elf can also hold a sign that says “good morning” being a friendly reminder that he is always watching.

12. Elf Sleds

Elf sleds down the stair handrail by using a piece of cardboard, a Tupperware lid, a bunch of candy canes glued together, or even your kids’ shoe as a sled.

13. Elf Can Climb

Elf is caught climbing on the cabinets, in the cupboards, or in the pantry to reach a snack.  Suction cups can be used as climbing gear, or he can “rope off” using ribbon or yarn.

14. Zip line

Elf uses ribbon and a a candy cane to zip line across the room.

15. Elf plays Video Games

Using your Wii, PlayStation, or Xbox controller, Elf gets caught playing with the paddle.

16. Elf creates a Snow Mess

Using cotton balls, elf creates an igloo to stay in.  He creates this igloo by recycling an old milk container, and gluing cotton balls to the outside to appear like snow.  Make a big enough hole in the side of the milk container for Elf to be displayed in.

Elf can also dump the cotton balls all around the living room to create a snow like mess.

Or the kids walk out of their room into a snowy winter wonderland.  Elf strung cotton balls together using string to have snow hang from the ceiling.

17. All Tangled Up

Elf gets all tangled up in the Christmas lights.  Elf tries to help out sometimes but often makes a bigger mess.  He can be found all tangled up in the Christmas tree lights, or in gift wrapping supplies, such as wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, or bows.

18. Elf decorates the windows

Elf makes little snow flakes out of paper to decorate the windows at your house. He also makes a sign that says let it snow for the kids to find.

19. Elf Takes A Bath

Elf gets caught taking a relaxing bath!  Kids find Elf in a pot, baking dish, slow cooker, small bowl etc, in the kitchen, taking a nice bath. Instead of water, he uses marshmallows, packing peanuts, or cotton balls.

20. Elf Uses The Potty

Elf leaves little droppings in the potty.  Using chocolate chips,  sprinkles, glitter etc. Place a few pieces in the potty as Elf squats over it.

I, myself am not a fan of playing with the potty, no matter how clean it is, so another option would be to have Elf get tangled or wrapped up in the toilet paper.   We all have, or have had toddlers that find the toilet paper roll at least once.  You know how it is, toilet paper all bunched up on the floor and it barley still hanging on the actual roll, DO THAT, but with Elf.

21. Elf Likes to Read

Kids find Elf reading one of their favorite books to all of their favorite toys.  All the toys get set up facing Elf, whom has a book in his lap facing his audience, as if he is actually reading to them.

The book could also be laid flat on the ground, with Elf laying on his stomach reading the book with a couple other toys, also on their stomachs looking at the pictures.

22. Train Conductor

What is it with kids and their shoes always being taken off wherever but where they are supposed to be?

Elf takes advantage of this and makes a train out of shoes.  He is in the front shoe being the train conductor with a sign saying, “All aboard the shoe shoe train” with a line of shoes behind him.

23. Elf Gets Homesick

Because Elf misses living at the North Pole so much he decides to make himself cold.  Elf is found in the fridge or freezer bundled in a towel being used as a blanket.

24. The Send Off

Elf has had such a blast and is having a hard time leaving, but he must! Santa needs his help once again. One of my FAVORITE family Christmas traditions, it to open new pajamas on Christmas Eve.  How sweet would it be for Elf to be the one giving the kids pajamas this year?

Elf could also write a letter to your kids telling how much fun he has had and how good they have been.

There could be a plate full of goodies waiting for Santa’s arrival with Elf sitting right by it.

Or Elf could just keep on with his/her silly shenanigans.

A Few Additional Elf On The Shelf Ideas

1. Ball Pit

Using colored pom poms, or gum balls, elf is found in a ball pit buried up to his under arms in balls.

2. New Decorations

Elf re-arranges the Christmas tree and places all the ornaments by each other.

Or Elf can also take off all the ornaments and hang up candy canes instead.

Elf can be swinging on an ornament like a giant wrecking ball (Yes, that did just bring back a horrible flashback of the Wrecking Ball music video, if you haven’t seen it, DON’T.  If you have then you know what I’m talking about.)

3. Hot cocoa

Elf loves sugar, he decides to make the kids some hot cocoa today with all the fixings; caramel, whipped topping, peppermint, marshmallows, etc.

4. Stockings Are Hung

Elf wants to help decorate for Christmas.  Elf takes it upon him or herself to hang up the stockings.  Instead of using Christmas stockings, the kids’ socks, or your socks are used to be strung up.

5. Elf Plays In The Dryer

Elf gets a couple of his friends, (barbie dolls, stuffed animals, cars, etc.) and goes for a ride in the dryer.  He uses tape as a seat belt and is found inside the dryer on the ledge/slide things. (Yes that is my technical term for it, deal.)


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